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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 9, 2013 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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we are not here to do that but it is in fact the result of that kind of legislation has led us to find that after three years of our witness working at the
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irs with partisan officials in the white house on an almost daily basis we have the implementation of a one-sided we know it all type of law. today we will hit a number of areas including did the irs plan to fail or did they fail to plan in a way that was transparent and consistent with the love? just as 90% of an iceberg is below water the problem with the user experience on the web site generally towards bias efficiencies that have been behind the scenes. previous committees have shown even the contractor chosen to implement the data-sharing is one that has had failures that have resulted in privileged information in social security's being lost. it is undoubtedly this will
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occur again since every state thousands and thousands of individuals now have access to your taxpayer information as part of obamacare and you in fact have no control over who those people are and how they are selected. additionally some of the most vulnerable among us are being sold and signed up for obamacare by people who have no training in hipaa or the protections of sensitive health care information but that is the law and we go through. today's hearing has a lot to do with the 47 new revisions including 18 attacks is expected to raise $1 trillion over the next 10 years in a program that will cost many times that with other taxpayers costs. obamacare gives the iras the power to force americans to purchase health care and a penalty/tax as determined by the supreme court on those who are
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delinquent. and yet even though the employer mandate has a penalty of $3000 per worker it is very clear that it's often better for the employer to dump their workers and their retirees in order to avoid an onerous set of new rules. that is part of what this committee has been looking at and in fact while the treasury department plans to send health-insurance subsidies directly to insurance companies if the treasury sense too much to a health-insurance company the plan is for the irs to go after taxpayers to collect the overpayment. yes there is a mistake made and you will pay for. an effort to target americans because of their political beliefs americans concerned about the irs and how they will handle this personal and private information have every reason to be concerned. who will have access to the highly personal health and financial information? a great many people, most of
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whom you don't know. there will be no control over it at the federal and state level that meets the requirements of the privacy act of health insurance. additionally the irs has repeatedly made mistakes in disclosing information. most often conservative groups and their donors. those kinds of mistakes could be amplified repeatedly either deliberately or accidentally. we are still trying to determine that but the accident seem to keep coming. the accidental targeting of hundreds of conservative groups include tea party groups has not abated. in fact many of those groups have still not received their approvals or denials something that our witness know something about. sharing with officials outside the agency. my ranking member's home state of maryland in fact leaves some
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question about whether or not the state will take the information collected and used it in other ways including garnishments or other tax levy. the truth is once the government has more information about everything including your cost of health care, who lives in your home who you are claiming it will add to the ability for federal and state to tax you further and ask more onerous questions. the u.s. government accountability office described the data hub and i quote is a complex undertaking involving the coordinated actions of multiple federal state and private stakeholders. during the committee hearing in july allen duncan assistant inspector general for audit for the treasury inspector general for tax administration testified that in fact it remains concerned about the protection of confidential taxpayer information that will be provided to state and federal
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agencies broadly. the assistant inspector general testified that it would be difficult to complete all the interagency testing of the hub prior to october 1 and in fact not all of it was done. he went live with beta software for the affordable care act and it shows. it shows every day as the american people struggle to get informatiinformati on. in september the problem became more than just worries when in minnesota the exchange admitted to accidentally and they repeat accidentally releasing sensitive information that contained names addresses surfside -- social security numbers for 2400 brokers. this is as i said earlier just the type tip of the iceberg. obama cares first week has been quite a mess but we can't undo the last week and there are no no -- this in fact will continue day after day and there will be no do-overs. we can only admit that the law
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is not ready for prime-time look for ways to mitigate it and ask for the administration for the understanding that when, the mandate congress creates will always have flaws. sarah hill ingram is here to testify. ms. hall ingram is the director of the iras a ofoto for care act office. before overseeing obamacare implementation for the irs ms. hall ingram was the commissioner for the irs tax exempt division. she served full-time in that role from 2009 to 2010. the administration has already delayed or revise several parts of the health law and in many cases unilateral action was directly at odds with congressional love. many americans have an uneasy feeling the administration is flying obamacare by the seat of its pants.
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there are some sobering recognitions that executive orders not put into law seem to be an everyday occurrence will change the law by definition if possible. it is our hope that ms. hall ingram will spell out the challenges the iras is facing so we stopped meeting the surprising yet still unsurprising news of how implementation is going poorly. in closing this is not going to be the committee's final hearing on obamacare implementation. the ranking members indicated he wants to hear more from irs witnesses. i do too. our intent is to bring additional irs officials to testimony in the future but today we are focused on ms. hall ingram. i might note two things. first repeatedly when we have asked for ms. ingram we have been asked to and we have to deferred to allow other witnesses. today the determination was that the person who by definition was
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at the center that the targeting of conservative groups for a period of 2009 to 2010 and the person who has owned obamacare since its passage for implementation must be heard from. although there are a lot of individuals behind the witness that will not be sworn and permitted to testify. the only witness today is ms. hall ingram and i take responsibility directly for asking the commissioner not to attend since you was not there at the time and was brought in when the scandal over targeting conservatives became a problem. my hope is that she will be candid in the release of all the facts. i have also been notified that the ranking member and tends to ask for pictures of ms. hall ingram receiving or being with past presidents.
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i will object to that. this is not about whether ms. hall ingram is a republican or democrat. this is not about politics of anybody at the irs. the irs by statute is critical that we ask the questions about the nonpolitical appointees, not the council, not the commissioner. what are their actions. not what are their politics or their leanings or self stated intentions. people are not to be judged at the irs based on how they vote. they are to be judged based upon the job they do and how they do it. with that i recognize the ranking member. >> just one question. what are you talking about? >> we were told that we were handed these by our personal
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attorney. they are pictures of past presidents. the minority leader requested them. >> what is the big deal? >> do we want to see a witness with president bush? >> mr. cummings and people up and down the day is to try to paint republican versus democrat. somehow if somebody is a republican or was appointed by a republican that somehow any claim of targeting conservatives is not there. the fact is this committee's docket will include extraneous material but not material designed to forward some question to paint somebody is a republican or democrat. i do not know the gentlelady's politics and i do not intend to ask. >> mr. chairman just one moment. the way politics comes up in all of this is that every single witness that has been interviewed on your staff has asked their political --
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we have had this conversation before on this dais before. today our nation is entering its ninth day, the ninth day of house speaker john boehner's government shutdown. speaker boehner has refused to allow the house a vote on a clean continuing resolution that would -- even though it passed with a bipartisan vote. instead he is allowing a small group of republican extremist to pursue their ideological crusade to repeal the affordable care act and put insurance companies back into our health care decisions for millions of americans. even worse our country is rapidly approaching the debt ceiling deadline of october 17.
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yet republicans seem unwilling and willing to jeopardize the full faith and credit of the united states of america unless we eliminate the affordable care act. even though it's the law of the land and has been upheld by the supreme court of the united states house republicans have voted more than 40 times to repeal the affordable care act. so although today's hearing may be closed in the rhetoric of improving the law, nobody truly believes republicans want that to happen. instead today's hearing is an obvious attempt to link to two issues that have nothing to do with each other. the implementation of the affordable care act and the
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so-called irs tea party scandal. for nearly a year republicans have been railing against today's hearing witness sarah hill ingram for being the supposed mastermind behind the iras targeting of tea party groups and for being some sort of political operative who was now in charge of implementing obamacare. one of our committee members said ms. ingram and i quote headed up this scandal end of quote. he said and i quote i can't wait wait -- i can't wait until we get her in front of the committee and of quote. congressman tim griffin accuses ingram of being quote directly in charge of irs targeting end
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of quote. he said and i quote, she provided her rent is customer service. under her watch and now she is going to the same in implementing obamacare end quote another member of our committee congressman meadows criticize the bonuses ms. ingram received. congressman tom price argued that her quote employment at the irs should the suspended end quote. the problem with these accusations is that they are 100% wrong. after hearing directly from 30 witnesses and reviewing thousands of pages of documents our committee has obtained absolutely no evidence whatsoever that was involved in any way with developing or directing the use of an appropriate criteria to screen
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tea party groups or any other groups applying for tax exempt status. in fact, we found just the opposite. she left her position as commissioner of the tax exempt entities division in december of 2010. six months before her former subordinates became aware of an appropriate criteria used to screen applicants for tax exempt status. russell -- russell george, the inspector general of the irs stated that lois lerner did not learn about the inappropriate criteria until june of 2011, six months after ms. ingram left for her new position implementing the aca. there is another problem with
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these republican allocations. ms. ingram is not a political operative. she is in fact a dedicated public servant who has excelled under both republican and democratic administrations. in 2000 for, george w. bush awarded ms. ingram the nation's highest civil service award. the distinguished executive presidential rank award for outstanding and i quote tax love leadership and i quote her highly effective efforts to combat terrorism financing. although you won't hear this from my republican colleagues as president bush gave her the award ms. ingram received a bonus and recognition of her exemplary service.
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that loan is was larger than any she received during the obama administration. dragging ms. ingram through the mud and impugning her reputation as part of a broader republican campaign against the aca is the worst kind of politics. it is intellectually dishonest and it is unfair to this highly-regarded public servant. october 1 was a historic day for our country. not because speaker boehner shut down the government but because it was the first day millions of americans had signed up for health care. in the first two days alone 7 million americans visited
8:19 pm, which had the highest traffic ever experienced on medicare's web site. although there will continue to be challenges implementing this law i want to thank ms. ingram for her service. under both democratic and republican of administrations and for her work on the aca which by all accounts is outstanding. mr. chairman and you alluded to this i would like to place a document in the record and that is a letter from mr. werfel are acting commissioner. since today's hearing was supposed to be about irs implementation of the aca i ask we invite officials from all irs offices in charge of this program.
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on monday you refuse and i heard you this morning just a few minutes ago when he said we are not finished with this and i'm pleased to hear that and that other witnesses would come forth later. i asked these officials to attend today along with irs commissioner werfel encase committee members had questions outside the scope of ms. ingram's responsibilities. last night he received a letter from mr. werfel stating he personally told him that he and other irs officials were not welcome. that essentially they were banned from the hearing room. i have seen a lot of things as a member of congress over my 17 years but i have never seen a committee chairman tell the head of an agency that he cannot be present during a public hearing with one of his own employees.
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i will read the letter. i see you moving around a little bit and i want to make sure i read it. it says -- dated october 88, of 2013 and addressed to me. dear ranking member, whose i am responding to your letter today requesting that i attend tomorrow's hearing along with other irs personnel who have relevant subject matter related to the aca implementation. i spoke directly to the chairman this evening regarding the request and the chairman requested that i do not attend. instead the chairman suggested that we have technical experts present that could be available to support ms. hal ingram but that would not be called to give her direct testimony. given my respect for the chairman's authority at this time i have decided to agree to
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the chairman's direction and will not attend in person. of note i remain concerned that ms. hal ingram alone will not be able to provide comprehensive testimony regarding irs efforts to implement the aca given that many of the significant irs that to these in this area fall outside of her direct purview. however it is my understanding the chairman's decision that ms. ingram will be the only witness for tomorrow's hearing is now final and i thank you for your ongoing assistance signed danny werfel and i ask her mission to make it part of the record. >> i wish to recognize myself in observation. the gentleman in his opening statement made it clear that he thinks the targeting of conservative groups as a phony scandal what the president just the opposite said it was serious the gentleman has repeatedly
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wanted to make it very clear that his job is to stop the work of this committee. mr. werfel was in fact -- the mr. chairman you just said something that is absolutely not true. i have not done that and i resent you saying that. >> i appreciate your resentment but i will continue. >> i tried to stop the work of this committee? >> it's very clear you have. >> come on mr. chairman. >> the fact is that the last hearing you requested of my four witnesses, seven and i gave you four. the policy of this committee and has been under republican and democratdemocratic leadership that the minority is generally, dated with a witness germane. you have repeatedly abused that in the process. when you send a direct invitation for a number of individuals including someone that was not there during the planning of the affordable care act and will be gone in a matter of days in the name of the
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commissioner, he was highly inappropriate to be a witness because he wasn't there before and he will not be there in a couple of weeks. in conversation with the commissioner and i will allow this and afterward -- >> well thank you. >> the fact is i said of course you can have any and all people that would help her and answering questions, and if someone comes up with an esoteric question whether you or anyone else will be for obamacare fine but in fact we have asked for repeatedly and deferred ms. ingram on a previous occasion even though she was the head of the department. she is the highest individual with the longest service related to the questions here today. elections have consequences. i have the responsibility of announcing what a hearing is going to be. sometimes hearings at your request. i have the primary responsibility for selecting the witnesses and i have always
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taken seriously the suggestions of witnesses you want and when timely have provided at least one. that is not true of my predecessor mr. towns although a friend and a good man he often did not give me than one witness. the decision to have the head of the implementation was mine. mr. werfel is a dedicated long serving public servant. i asked him not to be here for what i thought would be a staged opportunity for saying why didn't we let the commissioner who won't be there -- for that reason i will allow the letter and that understand that the attempt is to get the truth in this committee has tried to hold hearings on the subject you have requested and we will continue to do so. >> mr. chairman i wasn't finished. i have accepted unanimous consent.
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>> the gentleman may have an additional one minute. >> mr. chairman i just want to say we have a -- examining irs's roles in examining enforcing obamacare. that is the title of the hearing and if he made an allegation and i'm trying to stop everything i'm trying to get to the truth. the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me god. that is what i'm trying to get to. that is why i resent your statement and with that i yield back. >> i think the gentleman paid we we will now recognize as subcommittee chairman since his name was mentioned. >> mr. chairman i just want to say finally she is here. we have been trying for five months to get ms. ingram in front of this committee. i was beginning to think there was no such bersin as sarah hill ingram. a couple months ago chairman langford and i had a joint committee scheduled and
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ms. ingram was supposed to be in front of the committee but mr. mr. werfel said no she is not coming and i'm instead. we have been trying to get this lady. here's the lady at the center of the storm and two of the biggest issues this country has dealt with in recent history the targeting of conservative groups and implementation of obamacare. here is a lady who was low lows lows -- lois lerner's direct boss and today is the first time she has been in this committee after the scandal has been known about for five months? here is a lady who for the last five years have been head of the office for implementing the affordable care act in today's the first time she has come before the committee? this is unbelievable. two of the biggest issues facing the country in the first time she comes in front of the government oversight committee. mr. cummings brings up the letter that we got yesterday from mr. werfel. they tried again yesterday to
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not have her be here for it raises one simple question. why? what did she know that the irs doesn't want this committee and this congress and the american people to no? what does she know about the affordable care act? what are they trying to hide? mr. chairman thanks for your persistence. i'm glad it finally happened. it's astonishing that it took five months but i'm glad it finally happened. one more thing if i could mr. chairman and i will yield back. could we put up a slight? mr. cummings raise this issue and mr. werfel said -- this was a briefing if we could put up the first slide. this was a briefing given to the irs oversight board just this past may come come a second, 2013 and guess who gave that briefing? who do you think gave that briefing? the lady we have been waiting to get in front of this committee sarah hill ingram. don't take my word for it.
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we got the minutes from the meeting. if we could put that slider. the minutes from the meeting, affordable care act update led by sarah hill ingram director of the aca office. mr. werfel did not want her to come today and hasn't let her come for five months but look what it says she talked about. about. missing graham discussed the security and safeguard programs. the irs has a place regarding the share of data among its partners including those for the affordable paid care act program. this is exactly the lady we need in front of the congress. it just took us five months together here. >> would the gentleman yield? >> yeah that would yield. >> you said that i was trying to stop her from coming? did you say that? >> we have the letter from mr. werfel indicating you did not want sarah hill ingram to come. >> that didn't have any thing to do with me.
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>> you wanted mr. werfel here as well. >> would the gentleman yield? >> the a record the chairman is in fact that mr. cummings tried to get four additional witnesses and mr. werfel tried to not have sarah hill ingram, and and a request to matter where they originated did not have her testify today repeatedlrepeatedl y came from the commissioner. >> here's the point mr. chairman. why in in the world does it take five months to get the lady who was there when the targeting of conservative groups started who was lois lerner's -- implementing the affordable care act why in the world should have taken five months for her to come before this committee? what are they trying to hide? that is why this hearing is so important and mr. chairman i yield back. >> members will have seven days in which to submit opening statements for the record and we will now recognize the panel. ms. sarah hill ingram. >> mr. chairman?
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would mr. kirk would like a few moments a few moments? >> of coors. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> this is an opportunity to discuss viruses role in implementing and enforcing the affordable care act. i do look forward to today's testimony and would like to hear about the national dragnet that snare darwinism brought her here today. i will say the irs has begun to play and will continue to play a key role in both the implementation and the enforcement of the affordable care act. the department of health and human services manages the implementation of the aca but the irs assisting mostly by administering subsidies to those who qualify under the law and penalizing those who don't comply with the law. to determine which individuals fall into the latter category the irs along with the centers
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for medicare and medicaid services operates a data hub allowing those applying for coverage on the health care exchange to easily determine which plants and subsidies they qualify for. this data hub does not and i repeat come cut does not receive or maintain any personal health information or medical records. it simply will route stayed at never storing it in axis is the only information needed to determine individual eligibility for coverage and tax credits. these tax credits are desperately needed in my district where 9.4% of my constituency lives below the poverty line. 70,000 and that's 10.5% do not have health care health care insurance including 6500 children. we will be able to utilize the subsidies offered under the affordable care act coordinated by the irs to finally get covered.
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my constituents need the affordable care act. i look forward to today's testimony and i want to echo the promise of the ranking member that if this effort to somehow link the attempts to generate a scandal about the irs and link that with the implementation of the affordable care act, this is quite an active limbo dancing going on here and i will be interested to see if my colleagues across the the aisle can carry out the idea of linking to suppose that either a scandal with the implementation of the aca when we don't even have the people who are actually the most knowledgeable in charge of those areas here as a witness. in fact they were apparently instructed not to come. with that i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. as i said then i will say it
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again members have seven days in which to submit opening statements for the record. sarah hill ingram is director of the affordable care act office and formerly commissioner of tax exempt and government entities at the internal revenue service. ms. ingram pursuant to committee rules will you please rise to be sworn? and raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or from the testimony you're about to give over the truth a whole truth and nothing but the truth? let the record indicate the witness it answered in the affirmative. your entire opening statement ms. ingram will be placed in the record so you need not read verbatim. please try to stay as close to five minutes as you can. the gentlelady is recognized. >> chairman issa ranking member cummings and members of the committee by name is sarah hill ingram and i'm the director of the affordable care act office under the services and enforcement part of the irs.
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i appreciate the opportunity to discuss the work the irs is doing to fulfill our responsibilities under the aca. irs implementation of the tax provisions of the aca represents the collaborative work of all parts of the irs. i do want to make clear that my office is responsible for only one piece of this large puzzle. that piece involves the business operations procedures and products. significant work is also being done by information technology division our offices safeguards in the chief counsel's office. the written testimony we provided the committee reflects input from all these various functions. i will give you the best view that i can of our aca implementation efforts from my perspective that others who are accompanying me today may be better position to do many cases to answer your particular questions. they include chief technology officer terry miholland the
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director of liaison and disclosure rebecca and health care counsel tom breeder. the irs is charged with implementing the tax relief provisions of the aca. while many taxpayer provisions have been implemented a major effort in this regard involves the delivery of premium tax credits that will help millions of american families access affordable private health insurance coverage through the new health insurance marketplaces. the departmedepartme nt of health and human services has principle responsibility for defining the structure and operations of the marketplaces. open enrollment for insurance purchased in the marketplaces began on october 1 and coverage can begin as soon as january 1, 2014. the irs has a supporting role in the development and operation of marketplaces which is to provide data and computational services to the marketplaces for use in
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making their determinations about citizen eligibility for financial assistance. in addition the irs is responsible for incorporating the premium tax credit and other tax provisions into the tax administration process for tax returns filed in 2015 and beyond. our implementation efforts in this regard fall into three major categories. first employing information technology to facilitate data-sharing with hhs and state agencies to assist them in determining whether an individual who is applying for insurance coverage qualifies for financial assistance including the premium tax credit. our use of information technology will also play a key role going forward as we incorporate the various provisions into tax administration infrastructure. second protecting the safety and privacy of taxpayer data. this includes both the establishment of safeguard procedures before data is
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released and on the ongoing monitoring of safeguarding practices going forward. and third of dating and improving business processes and systems to facilitate tax return filing and compliance with the tax related provisionprovision s of the aca including the premium tax credit. i am pleased to report that the systems and processes there is has developed to support the irs are launched on schedule working as planned. we have handle a request received to date and turnaround times in meeting our goals. our data protection efforts are also working as intended prior to october 1 we ensured data security agreements were approved for all entities scheduled to receive taxpayer information including the federally facilitative marketplace state individual marketplaces and those medicaid offices that have requested approval before october 1.
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we have also been working to ensure individuals who seek information from the irs about obtaining insurance coverage to the marketplace are steered to the resources that can best help them. we have collaborated across agencies and stakeholders to ensure the availability of consistent information on web sites and other channels as well as in our east individuals businesses and professionals. looking to the future the irs is focused on preparing for aca provisions that will have an impact on the irs forms and procedures beginning with the 2015th filing system. in regard to both the tax credit and individual responsibility requirement reparations are already underway to modify the instructions come to enhance education and outreach to the taxpayers and their pfizer's updater business processes and complete the i.t. infrastructure changes in time for the 2015th filing. this concludes my testimony night happy to take any questions.
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>> thank you. i will now recognize myself. ms. ingram if i heard you correctly all is going as planned and well in the rollout of the affordablaffordabl e care act. is that correct? >> the portion of the responsibility the irs was in charge of his going fine. >> excellent. i would now like to give the first doctrine to the gentlelady and bring your attention to an e-mail chain dated friday july july 20, 2012 in which you were cc'ed and added to the chain. in preparation for the deliver these documents i assume which we delivered under his discovery you have repeated those. is this correct? >> i'm not sure where i have seen a particular on but i'm reading it now, sir. >> okay. take your time and read it.
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>> i have reviewed the document. >> do you recall this document? >> i do not recall the document. i think i recall what it is a discussion about. >> one of the areas of interest is there is a significant reduction that quotes 6103. do you know who is underneath that blackout? >> i don't recall the document so i can't help you with what is underneath the reduction. >> okay so the subject of -- let's go to a second one. would you give her the second document and we will pause and give you time to read it. this one is from you directly so hopefully you recall it.
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do all members have the document in front of them? can we have the clerk distribute the document's? i want to make sure everyone has them in front of them. do we have enough copies? they will be distributed. if the gentlelady would just pause for a moment. [inaudible conversations] do all the members now have the
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document? i think in the front row. ms. ingram do you recall the second document in which you are the author? >> i remember the conversations. since my name is on the e-mail i assume it's -- >> okay do you know the names underneath any of these black blocks or the information in? >> i'm sorry i can't remotely remember what's underneath. >> so you don't member what's underneath it appeared as an expert of the irs rewarded by republican and democratic administrations do you know what 6301 indicates? >> i understand it very well sir. sir. >> is it true that impacted sensitive information that is not to be distributed outside people permitted to have it within the irs and a very limited amount of people here in
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congress? >> i understand the rules of 6103 yes sir. >> you understand that you can't distribute 6103 information outside of people authorized to see it. is that correct? >> correct. >> so why are political appointees in the office of the president receiving 6103 information? on what basis would you be allowed to discuss the information which is a form of classification under 6103 with the political appointees at the white house? the irs is a nonpolitical organization. you are not a political person but is in a chair that political appointees are not allowed to see this information unless specifically cleared. correct? >> i'm not for me with what russ is was used on this document. my understanding from looking at the document is that these are names that were offered to us as examples of --
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>> i understand that you have been with the irs for a long time. 6103 information, did you share 6103 information with the white house? >> i'm not conscious of ever sharing 6103 with the white house but i cannot speak to what the process was for putting the labels on these. speier testimony today is that you have never shared confidential information with clinical appointees at the white house but in your 75 or 79 chips to the white house with the small and not so small groups of political appointees at the white house, i have to understand. either this 6103 information as the irs has said it is and you have shared it with political appointees at the white house or it's not 6103 in which case someone at the white house is using the reduction in keeping this committee from getting the information it needs for robber
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lawful discovery. i think we will have danny werfel back here on the subject treated you participate in redaction decisions at all? >> no sir, i did not. >> i guess this is a serious matter but it appears from this that you were part of the discussion at a time in which a controversial rule was going into effect including a number of conservative and religious groups and that you are providing back and forth advice to white house personnel on that implementation. is that correct? >> you my recollection of this exchange had to do with what the current irs rules are under regulations under 6033 in case policymakers wanted to use any definition that existed already in the tax code and that they understand what they would cover or not cover depending on which
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definitions they chose to employ. it was not a discussion about their decision about what to use. >> you are providing technical information whether or not church or nonchurch groups schools sponsored by churches and other affiliated groups whether or not they could be held under the affordable care act to do certain things. is that correct? >> it was a discussion about what the current directions under 6133 have been in have been for decades. >> the questions of the employees in the white house in your 80 trips back and forth and apparently large amount of e-mails have had to do with their desire to compel religious groups to do certain things under the affordable care act and you were advising them as to what the law would be in how they might implement it and in the case of one of the e-mails he said hoping there's a quick answer while i prefer something else. please copy me on the answer so this was something where you wanted to be aware and participate in the decision
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process by political appointees at the white house. is that correct? >> i see that portion of the e-mail is addressed to staff at the irs hoping that they could take care of answering the questions. >> is actually your quote. hoping there is a quick answer while i prefer something else. please copy me on the answer and that is your portion of the first e-mail. >> it was an aca related question. >> you have been intimately involved in aca implementation questions including whether or not somebody could receive a waiver whether somebody under current law could or could not be forced to do something they did not want to do. is that correct? >> i've been involved in answering questions about how the rules work and that is what this exchange is about. it was not about what rule policymakers ought to adopt. >> the one last time. the information underneath here
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if it's not 6103 you would agree that we should know what it is and if it is 6103 than its something you said you have never done which is to transfer 6103 information to political appointees at the white house. >> i would have to refer you to the people who did the redaction's. i don't know what's underneath sir, i'm sorry. >> neither do we. i now recognize the ranking member. i recognize the gentlelady from new york. >> thank you. i would like to thank ms. ingram for your public service and congratulate you on earning a reward -- an award for your work in combating terrorism finance. as one who lost 500 constituents on 9/11 i know how important this work is. it's vital to our homeland security and vital to saving american lives so i wanted to thank you for that.
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i also think that it's important that we realize the impact the government shutdown is having on our economy because an important part of homeland security is economic security and our economic security is falling. the stock market is closing at the lowest level in a month. the dow jones average fell 136 points. the standard & poor's 500 index fell 14 points. the nasdaq fell 27-point and consumer confidence is at an all-time low due to the threat of it defaults on our debt, on the american debt. i do want to make an important point that 195 democrats have signed a petition saying that they will vote today -- they will vote in 10 minutes to open up the government and i feel that they the vote was allowed on the floor there would
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be enough like-minded republicans that would float as in the violence against women act jointly in a bipartisan way to open up that government. i would say instead of having a hearing on unfounded allegations we should be looking at what the impact of the shutdown is on the irs and other government agencies and their ability to provide services to the american people. i would like to ask you ms. ingram what is the percentage of people that have been furloughed at the irs? >> i have been informed that it's roughly 90%. >> 90%. who is left? >> a small number of people trying to think -- keep essential things running. >> you think the government shutdown wolf pack impact the agency's ability to enforce the tax laws of our country in a
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fair and a process with great integrity? >> overall comments on issues about such shutdown and budget i need to defer to folks back at the irs. >> i want to focus on one area that the irs plays a critical role in our economy and that is the approval of mortgage loans. regrettably due to the recession homeownership is at the lowest level in 18 years. but home sales are finally beginning to tick of an till we got to this shutdown and now they have against fallen backwards. even though housing finance is considered by some economists to be as high as 20 to 25% of our economy of the related industries of the slowdown in the approval of mortgage loans is going to have a dramatic effect on our economy. the shutdown of the irs has a
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specific responsibility because as i understand it the irs has to approve or provide tax records from one year for any mortgage approval. is that correct? >> i'm not the right person to answer detailed questions about that program. i'm sorry maam. >> i looked at the irs web site just in case you couldn't answer and by law any mortgage loan approval is subject to the review by the mortgage lender of at least one year's worth of federal tax returns. this process of verifying income requires the assistance of an irs employee. therefore a third party mortgage party cannot verify parties income via his or hers tax returns in the sale cannot be closed close so therefore even though they fha has continued to process loans and banks are processing loans they need the irs to approve these tax returns
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so therefore the sale and the mortgage cannot go through. it had on the web site, mike asked questions and it said in a third third-party obtain a text transcript during the shutdown and the answer was clearly no. we can't move forward in this vital area of approving home loans and mortgages that could help our economy move forward. consumer confidence continues to decline the longer this shot down last. as a result of a lackluster expectation also notes that the number of mortgage applications is also decreasing dramatically after experiencing an uptick prior to the shutdown of the federal government. so i would say that what we should be focusing on is what we can do to open up the government we are now in day nine of the government shut down.
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my time has expired. let's work together to open up the government and get our economy moving again. >> i think the gentlelady and i will take her opening statement as a recommendation that we hold a hearing on whether personnel at the ira should have included people from that department. with that we go to the gentleman from ohio. >> thank you mr. chairman. ms. ingram you have been at the irs for how long? >> over 31 years. >> i want to go back to where the chairman was. take the 6103 confidentiality statute pretty seriously? >> very seriously. >> let's put up the definition. no officer or employee of the united states shall disclose any information connection with his or hers service as an officer or employee or are under the provision of the statute. it's pretty straightforward. you can't share personal
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taxpayer information. correct? >> true. >> in my opening statement i said you gave a presentation that you highlighted this as you were talking about the affordable care act. this is from the presentation you gave according to the minutes of the meeting in front of the oversight lord and i want to show federal tax law imposes privacy protection that bars iris from disclosing federal tax information to the final sentence. this includes the release of of the data and the safeguarding of the data in the hands of the recipient. you can't pass this back-and-forth. this. this was the presentation you gave in front of the irs oversight lord. let's go back to the e-mail the chairman had in front of you if we could wear it's addressed to ms. gene lambro. who is gene lambro? >> my understanding issues on the domestic policy council. >> you don't know this lady very
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well? >> no i don't know her farewell. >> according to the white house business law we do this all the time and in the 17 month timeframe you visited with her 75 times. that's more than once a week and it says farah h. ingram august 26 deputy assistant to the dash for health care. >> those are the times that i was cleared to attend but not necessarily the times that i actually attended. >> do do you know how many times you did attend of the 75 you were clear? >> many fewer. >> potentially could've been there 75 times greater testament to mr. asa was you did not disclose any 6103 information. >> i have not. >> who at the irs decided that you did and blacked out all that they blacked out on the e-mail? we got this from the irs. we did not block it out.
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>> there is a difference between whether somebody gives me information about a taxpayer to which i can respond versus releasing an e-mail to other members such as the members of congress but i differ to the people of -- >> are you saying you are allowed to give 6103 information to the white house? >> this is not 6103 information. >> do you see where it's all blacked out? there is a number written on each of those blacked out areas. can you say for the record with the number is? >> 6103. >> 6103 so someone decided this was confidential taxpayer information and when we got these documents in the committee got these documents they said that that is information you're not allowed to see but it was fine for you to communicate to the white house and release that information? >> i will defer you to the people at the irs. >> we want to know who that
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person is who made that decision because you certainly didn't think it was. someone did. >> i believe the committee is interacting with the people. >> put that back up please. i just want to ask you one question. if it's not 6103 mr. e-mail let's go right to build a line. one little sentence, the large well-known blank universities. the large well-known blank universities. what is underneath that? >> i don't know sir. >> this is about the lawsuits confident number of christian affiliated institutions regarding their religious liberty lights. >> is about the definition under 6033. >> the catholic university can't tell me what's underneath that information? >> no sir i don't know what's underneath the blanks.
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>> you can tell me what's under the blanks and you can tell me who decided to redact this but your testimony is i did not share confidential taxpayer informatiinformati on with the white house even though 75 times you are cleared to be with her and you have the correspondence back and forthwith all kinds of reductions in all the redaction say the same thing. 6103. it sure looks like someone broke the law here ms. ingram. >> i would do for the congressman to the team with which this committee is working. >> mr. chairman if i could, we provide as the person or persons who decided this committee couldn't see this information of road 6103 on this e-mail? >> i will take the work back to the folks working with the committee on the documents clarifying it. >> you should deal feel to give us the information. >> would the gentleman yield? >> i would be happy to.
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.. we would be glad to take your questions. >> i'll come back for the record. you'll be back here, if that's the case. okay. i would instruct the clerk -- recognize the gentle mab in a second. i would recognize the clerk to get a call the to the irs. i would like the documents delivered before the hearing is
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over, so we can test the witness' details about the own e-mail she doesn't seem to be able to recognize. >> go ahead. >> hopefully they're not on a furlough. >> they are. in this case, they are essential. >> first of all, remember what took place. the white house and the irs are communicating back and forth to giveaway -- suing the government over the religious liberty right. number two, remember this. this law compels every single american, individual mandate to go to the exchange and give personal information to the irs. they're compelled to do this. this lady was sharing personal information with the white house. >> would -- the gentleman's time is expired. >> recognized for five minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i had seven and you have seven. >> the gentleman is recognized for five. >> thank you very much for your courtesy.
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unlike the last questioner, i'm going allow do you answer my questions. you have -- not you, mr. chairman. [laughter] but the last one there. i hope you have questions for her. >> i have questions. i don't ask and answer. you have been attacked by personal members of congress for tea party groups apply for a tax-exempt status. tim griffith accused of you being directly charged for the -- similarly tom price accused you of systemic harassment of conservative and religious organizations. and argued you should be us is -- suspended. let me ask you to respond to the accusations directly. did you play any role, whatsoever, in the developing the inappropriate criteria used
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to screen applicants for tax-exempt status? >> no, i did not. >> the inspector general didn't find you responsible either because the inspector general understood that you were not in the chain of demand during the relevant time period. it appears many of the accusations against you are based on a misunderstanding about your title and your position. although you left your previous position in december of 2010, your job title did not officially change until 2013. so if someone looked up your job title, they might think you were still at ge; is that right? >> that's right, sir. >> it is my my understanding when you began your new position implementing the aca in december of 2010, you were no longer functioning as a commissioner of tax exempt and government entities; is that correct?
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>> yes, sir. >> when you took the aca job in 2010, your former deputy, joseph grant, became the acting commissioner of gege; is that correct? >> yes. >> did mr. grant fully assume those responsibilities in december of 2010? >> yes, he did. it was announced he would act as commissioner. >> did mrs. learner report to mr. grant when he became the acting commissioner of gege. >> yes. >> after 2010 miss learner didn't report to you anymore; is that right? >> only on paper not in function. >> so she was no longer in your chain of command? >> that's right. the inspector general determined that miss learner learned about the inappropriate screening cry criteria of june of 2011. that was six months after you moved to your full-time aca position; is that right? >> i understand that timing, yes, sir.
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>> since you no longer reported -- since she no longer reported to you, did lois learner tell you about the use inappropriate criteria in 2011? >> i don't recall hearing anything about it until i sat in on a meeting requested by my boss in the spring of 2012. >> in fact, mr. grant, who was her direct supervisor told us that miss learn der not tell him anything in 2011 either. i just want everyone to be clear on the fact, because i think some people are really confused about this timeline. i want to go back to some things mr. jordan was asking about. i take it that you are very concerned about 603 information; right in how do you view that? and how have you operated --
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first of all, how long have you been with the irs? >> over 31 years. >> tell me about 60103. have you ever, to your knowledge, released inappropriately 6103 information? >> i have never, as far as i know, ever violated any portion of 6103, which is a basic tenant of day one of irs pot-friendly -- protect the considerablety. >> you spent 31 years as the irs? >>. >> yes, sir. >> that's a long time. i want to thank you for your service. i know, this is a difficult situation today. i'm hoping the committee will be courteous to you. you are the base of public servants. you give the blood, sweat, and tears for and a sacrifice for a
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greater good. i appreciate you. with that i yield back. >> gentleman from florida is recognized for five minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. have you ever heard of henry khao chief information officer of medicare and medicaid services? >> yes, sir. >> he said before october 1st, he said the rollout was not ready for october and hoped it would not be a third-world experience. are you familiar with evaluation of the ability to roll this out? >> no , sir. >> okay. well, kind of funny. in the newspaper today it was reported it was easier to blog from kenya, a third-world country than to sign up for obamacare. would you say that's an accurate assessment of where we are? >> all i can speak to, sir, whether our part is working as
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planned and it is. >> your part is a couple of things. we talked about income verification, you don't have the ability to do that now; is that right is that correct? >> we are operating a system that when we were asked for the limited tax data on -- >> when somebody applies now, there's no verification of their income? or will there be? >> there is currently operating an income query process where by the marketplaces go through the data hub to us -- >> can you now? >> yes, we're successfully -- >> can you now, when someone goes online you can verify their income? >> when we get the request, we are successfully, and all cases returning timely answers. i cannot speak to -- >> they have people that are so far signed up, you can verify their income now? >> there have been -- >> and you will. >> it's not the irs's role in
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the application process to do the total. >> are you enforcement? >> pardon? >> are you enforcement? >> the enforcer. >> the tax compliant. >> yes, sir. >> the court said this was a tax -- >> yes, sir. >> process. are you ready in 2014 -- when are you going to announce to folks in 2014 they have a $95 individual penalty or $285 family penalty if they haven't complied with signing up? >> we have finally rags. we have material on the website that's been part of the public. >> when do you plan to send out notices that -- will that be in 2014? >> i'm sorry, sir. notices? i'm trying to track -- >> you have not complied -- individuals have not complied. we em eliminated the employer mandate, temporarily. i guess the president have
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suspended that. folks will get a sticker shock when they find out they're going have this obligation. but you're prepared to send that out? >> we are already having information about that provision in our average materials, in public meets on the website, et. >> you haven't sent that out? you're not ready -- you're just preparing for it. >> may i ask for a clarification -- >> again. if you haven't complied -- $95 individual -- >> yeah. >> payment $285 for family. at some point, it has to kick in; right? >> so after the returns are filed in early 2015, would be the first time we would have -- >> okay. not until then. all right. another thing is can you tell us how many have signed up for obamacare? >> no , sir, that's not part of the irs role. we have no insight. >> you have no insight. you know, automatic the reports
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i have i read, you know, a little bit who was responsible for setting this up. it said the system was developed by c g.i. group. i have list of -- if you can put the list up of who got the obligations contracts to put the system together. it's a partial list. it's about quarter of a billion dollars. these folks received. i didn't know them, but they have a pretty good reputation, as i understand. i recognized hampton. are you involved in either deciding on any any of these contracts being awarded at all or involved in picking who put them ?oght. >> these are hhs contracts and -- >> we have nothing to do with that. >> would there be political appointees that made it other people in hhs? >> i would have to refer do you the other agency. >> i was surprised by that. i'll show to the committee. i went and checked the political contributions. we put up the prelim
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contributions. it's quite revealing. almost over -- let's see, that's a million dollars to the democrats side. $287,630,000 to the republican side. it looks like some of these contracts -- this is on went political folks. you're not aware of any of that activity; right? >> we have no part of this. >> again, and it might be interesting to go back for the media and other folks to see who coct contracts and who were the big players. finally, are you aware of any requirements for hiring additional personnel or space needed to house irs personnel who will be involved in obamacare? how much space and how many people?
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>> i'm not aware of space issues, but the 2014 president's budget include the need to have additional it specialists come in and help us finish the work for 2015. >> finally, the amount of capacity, i'm told, of the core data center for most of the 400 i.t. core data centers, we only use about 8 to 12 percent of capacity. do you know what percent of capacity for the data centers or could you provide it to the committee is used by irs current ?ri. >> that's certainly beyond my -- >> but if you can provide it. because we find very little has been used for most of those, again, according to reports, mr. connelly and i have gotten. thank you, i yield back. >> thank you gentleman. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let's gate few things out of the way, miss ingram.
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have you ever read the -- >> i've not read it. i've seen it performed. >> you know what it's about? >> yes, sir. >> what is it about? >> well, i'm from new england i'm familiar with the original story. >> it's about -- >> the salem witch trial. >> okay. solet get -- you're on trial. have you been con sorted with the devil? >> not to my knowledge, sir. >> are reports you fly accurate? >> greatly exaggerated, sir. >> have you been involved in any way in trying to pervert our youth in salem or anywhere else? >> i certainly hope not, sir. >> you sure? >> yes, sir. >> hmm. well, all right. you received an award in the bush administration for excellence of public service, the highest award, i think, for
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anyone in the irs; is that correct? >> the highest award give to the senior executive. >>. >> did the devil have anything to do with the award? [laughter] >> i was not apart of the process or the awarding. i'm not aware. >> we know the bush administration manufactured evidence of weapons of mass destruction to justify the innovation of iraq. were you involved in that? you received an award from president bush. there's a connection. >> no , sir. >> really? all right. if that's your testimony. in your testimony, you said that the irs is permitted to disclose tax return information to other federal agencies and tax -- to sufficient tax administration. and you cited that the fact that the aca provides a specific exception talking about 6103 for information sharing activity. can you explain what it means.
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it sounds ominous. it sounds like the devil is involved here. >> from time to time congress puts exception in the 6103 rule to permit, or some places, require us to share tax data in narrow circumstances to forward some policy that congress has in mind. as part of the aca, there was an amendment made to 6103 to require us to share data upon request. >> for what purpose? >> for the purpose of the recipients using it to determine eligibility for the benefits of the marketplaces and medicaid. >> so the recipient would be who? the white house political operative? the devil? who is it? >> the market -- the individual marketplaces and medicaid us offices who are using the data under the new part of 6103 to make income-based determination on eligibility for the program. >> it's not political activity? >> no , sir.
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>> it's not partisan political ?ft. >> no , sir, we're required by chute. >> by chute. you mean we wrote it? >> yes, sir. >> oh. i just want to say that at least on this side of the aisle, you're inest steamed public servant. we deeply appreciate the service you provide to your country. we are glad you stepped up to try to make affordable care available to all americans pursuant to the statute, written by this congress. and at least speaking for myself, i deeply regret the fact going back to the crucial moment you're going to be pill i ared here today. i very much appreciate, as a fellow new englander your willingness to put up with it. but don't, for a minute, think that the pillaring you're going to be subjected speaks for all of us. it does not not. frankly, the american people watching the hearing, they're
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going to be ashamed of the treatment to which you're subjected. thank you for your service. >> yield? >> i will yield. >> i just -- one question, miss ingram. you have asked several questions about your responsibility in -- under the irs with regard to the affordable care act. have -- were you scheduled to be? in other words with regard to the development of everything you all were supposed to do under your section of the irs? >> yes, sir. >> are you following my question? >> yes, for the business operational part that i'm responsible for contributing to the team, we're on schedule. >> thank you very much. >> gentleman from tennessee is recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i knead clear that i have no complaint about or criticism of
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miss ingram, but in "forbes magazine" this morning, it said that a columnist wrote this said one weekend of the launch of obamacare; however, it's not a joke. it's literally easier to blog from the ken began border than sign up for insurance on barack brashing. they were more afraid of delaying the launch of obamacare than botching it. all you need to know about the bill out of obamacare subsidizing insurance exchange. and so far the toughest questions posed to the obama administration have come from comedy central. we're going do a chainlt, john stewart told kathleen inteel use. i'm going try sign up for obamacare we'll see which happens first. so. of the last questions --
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sort of in a joking manner. but this it's nothing to joke about. it's sad. this law was signed in to effect of march of 2010. 42 months the government employees have had to prepare for this. three and a half years. you've been working on in since december 2010. once again, i have gotten no complaints about miss ingram. i think it's kind of ridiculous and sad that after all of this time things are in the shape they're in. and also, i find out this morning that the taxpayers have paid over $400 million to in sweet heart deals to government contractors to help all the government employees who have been working on this to try to get it in shape. i mean, this is the most messed up, con have a luted confusing
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law that has ever been passed. even before this rollout, as bad as it's been, thousands and thousands of citizens across this country have written, e-mailed, and -- called members of congress. i have got -- i can bring so many examples. i have one that said i'm a retired tda employee and received notice of more than $500 increase in monthly health insurance starting in 2014. monthly premiums will be $14 95 per month for me and my wife. went to the affordable care act side and premiums are about the same except none of my doctors are on the list. i encourage you to keep voting to defund obamacare and vote to include everyone in obamacare. no waivers and credits. my slogan for president obama is be a man, sign up for your own plan. that was from -- jack h. and another man, joseph schmidt,
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e-mailed, i remember our president saying the new health care bill will reduce costs. i have the health care renewal form and the premium has increased about 50%. $700 deductible added and the copayment is addressed. the drug coverage has also increased. maybe you can do nothing about this, as i understand. i want you to know i feel as if the truth was not told. and another example from bruce christopher, it says my 2011 health insurance premium going to 11% for less coverage, copay and deductible have double. i thought you'd want to know. now you've got your responsibilities and the irs commissioner, mr. shulman, was here earlier and also said he noted that the statute does not allow dray additional enforcement methods. but he said the irs will, quote,
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communicate with the taxpayer and attempt resolve the outstanding liability. can you tell us you're in charge of this? how will the irs communicate to that information to taxpayers? >> i believe commissioner shulman was referring to the individual payment provision. >> that's correct. >> so the traditional parts that are not available us part of the statute is that if there is a liability related to that provision, leans and levy and criminal step cannot be used for the provision. we are operationally making sure it's absolutely true as it rolls out for the -- if somebody is not covered, which most americans are, are they're not eligible for an exemption statutory examination which another group is. if they have a liability and do not pay it as part of their return filing process, it would be a balance due like other balance deuce. and we're conscious that in the
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early times there is education to be done -- >> how will you identify the people who haven't complied? >> are they supposed to check a box the tax return or what is going happen? >> we received a great deal of feedback it would be helpful to americans who are covered to be able to check a box and know they were done. so our intention to give people an easy way as part of the tax filing process to check a box or indicate the exemption they qualify for, or to put a calculate the penalty is part of the return filing process. >> and now you know that all of these employer mandates have been delayed and it was my understanding that the irs was going to use the information obtained in these employer mandates to do your required compliance work. so where are you going use the information from these --
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that these employers provided? >> so the information that is relevant to the provision is information coming from the insurer, information reports. and for the first year the congressman is correct that it's not man story in the first year. we are making sure citizens have the investigate they need to fill out the return correctly and honestly. which most taxpayers do. i would like that emphasize that. we'll be looking to see whether there are other ways to look at the filing patterns. but our main concern in the first year is to make sure people are educate and know what they need to do. >> well, my time is expired. >> we'll have the returns. >> i want to say that i feel it's really -- this is not a joke to the american people, and it's sthad -- sad we would have laughter and joke in the committee hearing, in my opinion thank you. >> thank you. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and miss ingram, thank you for
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coming here today and putting up with our committee. especially right now in an atmosphere on capitol hill where there is an utter frenzy to do everything people can think of to get rid of obamacare before it takes effect. including this hearing. but miss ingram, in my four and a half minutes left. i want to see if we can cover the big picture. you a 31-year employee of the irs? >> yes. >> you were not working at the tax exempt and government entities part when the targeting of the both conservative and progressive political groups came to light, am i correct in that? >> i would not -- working at tege, though i will note that it's true on paper i still had that title. >> i saw that. but you didn't know that targeting was going on until after you stopped working in that area? >> yes. the first i heard was in the
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spring of 2012. >> you now work on the irs piece of part of the implementation of the aca; is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> all right. you're working 60 or 70 hours a week at that, aren't you? >> yes. [laughter] >> all right. and you're working in one of the four officers of -- offices of the irs having to do with implementation and hajtdz of the aca, am i correct of that? >> yes, sir. >> so one office is the information technology division, that's been tasked to provide overall direction and data to day management and oversight of i.t. delivery for new and modified system. >> that's right. >> you're not in that office? >> no , sir. >> another one is the privacy and governmental liaison and disclosure office, which is tasked to monitor almost 300 federal and state agencies currently aprof --
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approved to receive tax data and ensure compliance with section 6103, the one that had been a bit this morning? >> yes, sir. and you're in the in that office, are you? >> no , sir. and one is the office of health care counsel, the office is tasked to coordinate the aca across the office of chief counsel and collaboration with the aca, acio, aca safe guard and acas and epmo. you're in the that office either? >> no , sir. >> the one you're in is aca services and enforcement division. the one tasked to coordinate aca across sne in collaboration with the other offices. am i correct in that? >> yes, sir. >> all right. well, now we had -- if you had questions about those offices that you're not in, if would be more appropriate to bring the people from those
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offices and question them, would it not? >> yes, sir. there is a limit as to what i can provide to their operations. >> for example, exactly how 6103 information blocking comes up within you'd want to ask the privacy governmental liaison and disclosure office about that, wouldn't you? >> yes, sir, and the lawyers that advise them. >> right. now let me ask you this. there's an october 4, 2013 letter that ranking member cummings wrote to chairman darrell issa asking people from all four of the divisions be brought here to testify. is that was declined. they only wanted you and asked you about all of these other subjects. do you have any information at your dispiece of equipment sal as to whether chairman issa declined participation ever all of these other people who know about the subjects? >> i've not been a part of any of this conversation, sir.
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>> in fact, in the same letter, ranking member cummings asked pointedly if chairman issa would also invite acting irs commissioner danny we werfel, who is charged with overseeing the entire effort at the irs. that also was declineed. miss ingram, do you know why the chairman issa declined bringing acting irs commissioner werfel to answer those questions here today? >> again, i haven't been part of any of those conversations, sir. >> and i guess even larger pushing -- picture, you don't work at the hhs, which is responsible for the overall rollout of the affordable care act, do you? >> no , sir. and they weren't invited here to answer questions today. do you know why that was? >> i'm not familiar with how the
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decision were made, sir. >> well, if you have a question about a subject, wouldn't you want a person there that knows the most about it subject to answer those questions? wouldn't a tribunal that wants to get to the truth of things act that way instead of putting it all on somebody who is only working in one specific area? >> i defer to the committee. i'm sorry, sir. >> thank you very much for your time. and i yield back. >> thank you. the gentleman from utah is recognized. >> i thangt chairman. i dwreeltd gentleman from ohio. >> i appreciate the gentleman yielding. real quick in answering mr. carte right. we have the aca implementation irs oversight board briefing may 2nd, 2014. the downtown we got from the irs oversight board. miss ingram did that briefing. page 7 of the minutes say affordable care act update lead bizarre are a hall ingram.
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she discussed the security and safe guards program the irs has in place regarding the sharing of data. it was again good enough for her to breast irs oversight board. it cements like it would be appropriate to brief this committee in congress. i want to go back to the e-mail, if i could real quickly. let go back. i want to stress for the committee the underlying issue here was about 58 different institutions who were suing the government because they believe their religious liberty rights. their first amendment religious liberty rights were infringed upon by the affordable care act. isn't that correct? it's regarded the lawsuit in place that were filed regarding infringement of religious liberty? >> i'm sorry, congressman, i don't see with the litigation is mentioned. >> not mentioned. what you're talking about. >> no , sir, i'm explaining how --
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>> the college level affiliated by -- these schools while exempt from filing would not -- unless -- it's all about institution, again, what was going on at this time. the administration was concerned about all of these entities suing the government. this is -- >> 6103 rule. 6033 rules in the internal revenue and how they work. >> used to define who qualifies and who doesn't. who would be exempt and who doesn't. the end result, from your discussion and the way the ruling was changed, most of the lawsuits were dismissed. lawsuits like colorado christian university v. inteel hobby lobby -- some much these big -- most of cases have been dismissed because of the change in the definition that was being discussed in the e-mails; correct? >> all i know to respond to you,
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mr. congressman, i was answering questions about how current tax definitions work under 6033. i was not involved in litigation or regulation decisions. >> you were answering -- the white house wanted to know if they could change the definition. you were given information about the definition, and then the end result was most of these suits were dismissed. that's what happened. >> i can't speak to that. >> you strong to speak to it. part was determine bid the white house and you, and our concern, of course, in that response that resulted in most of these cases being -- you shared by someone's definition of the irs. you shared personal taxpayer information with the white house. and now under the affordable care act -- and now under the affordable care act americans have to give personal information to the irs to the same lady and the
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organization that potentially at least by someone's -- at the time it took place at the time when religious institutions were suing the government because the affordable care act infringed on the religious liberty rights. that's what people are nervous about. that scares a lot of people. the end result is they get discuss missed and don't get the day in court. authority to get health care? >> may have a minute so respond? >> first i'll let the committee and the specialist in the 6103 law provide the explanation as to why it would not have been 6103 problem for me to have the e-mail. but a 6103 issue would be the committee. i'll let you and they work it out. >> wait, stop there for a second. it was okay --
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that's amazing. it's okay for the twhows get the unredpacted version. political people at the white house from the same entity that targeted groups who came to existence because they oppose the affordable care act. congress can't get it. that's -- that is unbelievable! you just told us it's okay if you said -- you didn't do anything wrong. it's okay for the white house to get the information. we on the government oversight committee can't get the same information. >> i can't answer what is under the block. i cannot answer whether the information originated with the white house or not. >> this is phenomena. you wrote it and don't know what was under the block. okay for the white house and not us. americans are supposed to rest assure extremely in a considerable fashion. unbelievable. my time is expired. >> i'll yield back.
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>> thank you. >> recognized. >> thank you for subjecting yourself to this today. thank you for being here. a lot of members in the congress, republican members including some of the ones on the committee have been alleged that the white house organize straited so the called targeting of tea party group. for example on may 14, 2013 chairman issa stated on national television. i quote, it was the targeting of the president's political enemies effectively. and lies about it during the election year wasn't discovered until after wards. close quote. our committee has heard from over 30 witnesses in interview or hearing and none of them have indicated that the white house was involved in the treatment of applications with tax-exempt status. do you have any reason, personally, to believe that the white house directed targeting of tea party organizations? >> i have never heard anything that would indicate that.
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did anyone in the white house or instruct do you treat the tea party organizations differently from any other others? >> i've never had any such conversation with the white house. >> to be clear you have no -- >> none whatsoever, sir. >> there have been press account claiming since 2009 you visited the white house 165 times; is that correct? >> i have been told that the press account has had to do clearance not attendance. >> most of us realize the logs can include schedule visit that didn't take place. how many times did you visit the white house complex during the time frame 2009 area? >> i'm sorry, sir from when to when? >> from 2009 on? >> well, i don't have a number, sir. but once i started the aca work, from time to time, i would accompany treasury to the old executive office building to provide administratability
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analysis for an issue being discussed among the multiple agencies. and that put me on a list for building clearances that was repeating invitation. but i only went when i could add value from an administratability point of view. >> on any of those that you made were they about the application of tax exempt tax-exempt status investigation by the committee? >> never, sir. >> the regularly scnged interagency meets on the affordable care act is what you were invited to participate? >> as far as i know always affordable care act. >> they took place in the old office billing but not the white house ?its. >> i would say yes, except i have a vague memory for one meeting i went through a somewhere in the subbasement i went through a second check point. so i don't really know where i was at that point. i want to be open. and complete about that. >> sure. some people have attempted to paint the meetings of a political bias on your part. so i want to give you ab
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opportunity to respond to that. have any of your action at the irs implementing the affordable care act and motivated by any of your personal political views? >>, absolutely not. there's no place for personal political views in my work at the irs. >> in yon tenure of the organization have you treated organizations differently based on the political views? >> absolutely not. >> have so you seen any political -- irs employee? >> i've to the seen bias in the work of the irs. >> we should be troubled by the baseless and attacks not just against you but the others. hopefully the record will be clear now and recognized your duties have been great conducted on that. i thank you for your service. i yield to mr. cummings. >> the i'm sit here all of this. and, you know, thereon what mr. jordan just asked you. it's troubling.
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you have a family? >> yes, sir. >> are you married? >> yes, sir? >> you have children? >> not my own. >> and the reason why i ask you that is sometimes i think we neargt public employees are human beings. simply trying to do a job. people can go out and private sec for and make more money. and you dpaif 31 years. the 31 is just wringing -- ringing in my head. that's a lot of time. i want to go back to something mr. connelly said. you -- i want you to know you may very well be attacked here today. but this is really not about you.
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this is bigger tan you. and i want do you understand that. thank you very much. >> you're exactly right. americans have to comply with the act. i would point out this too. lots of people underneath the redactions have families as well. they have the personal information about like it was nothing. >> i thank the chairman and i also thank you for being here to testify. we need to ask questions. you're one of those. i appreciate the fact of concern from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that we treat federal employees like human beings as well. that's right. i it ought to be that way. i also think about the 59-year-old woman in jackson who calls my office in tears. a single parent mother who was
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informed by her employer she was being cut back from her part-time job from 35 hours to 25 hours. the additional revenue she made as a waitress would not come anywhere near covering her mortgage. that's a human being as well. that's why we're trying to get answers in hearings like this and that's why we appreciate you being here. it's also the employer 54 individuals. human beings in my district who is told by his insurance carrier that they could not provide coverage anymore for their employee. was they wouldn't meet requirements of obamacare. that's why the hearings are important to get to the issues that get the human beings, citizens, taxpayers, people have dreams and aspirations just as you and i and my colleagues have as well. that's important to do this. and not to have a tbheatle
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continues to go on about shut downs, though i believe very clearly leadership on the other side of the aisle relishes the shut down taking place, and the pain that it bricks -- brings about for political reason. sky you a question moving on dealing speckly with the employer mandate in the affordable care act. and the constitutional opinion that are out there all over the place that the president did not have the authority to delay the employer mandate. ..
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>> were you part of the legal rationale behind the delay? >> so you don't know what was considered work the president situation? >> i was told that the decision was made by the assistant secretary. >> is a to that obamacare affects the penalty? >> when, and in what way? >> when it is in effect. would the irs collect the employers -- the obamacare employer and mandate penalty? >> yes, once the information commences, the information reporting, there is submission sufficient information to plot attacks. >> so it applies to $2000 or $3000 penalty per worker. as i understand what is in the law, can you explain why the penalty would be $2000 per worker and when it would be $3000 per worker?
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>> the difference between the two parts of that statute refer to whether the employer offers coverage at all. and that is the smaller amount but it is a multiple of the number of workers with sums obstructions. if the employer offers adequate insurance been the only question is whether an employee got a premium tax credit that was entitled to it despite the employer offer. in that case come in the number of people who get the premium tax credit would be a multiple of the 3000. >> does the irs have to offer them opportunity to contest the determination prior to assessing the penalty? >> is we put in the q&a and have talked about it publicly, the employer has very little ability to calculate up themselves because it requires knowledge of the 1040s and who got a tax credit. we will provide a proposed bill for the employer come including
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the other information and let them help us correct the data. >> when does the correction take place? >> no, sir, after we propose it out and we can work on correcting any errors in the population and then there would be a bill. >> i think the chairman and i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. i recognize the gentleman from wisconsin. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you very much for being here and i want to echo the comments of the people. it has been tremendous and i don't know where to begin. so let me start with are you of libyan defend? >> not to my knowledge, sir. >> have you ever lived in libya? >> no, sir. >> have you traveled through libya? >> no, sir. are you a libra on the zodiac? >> no, sir. >> if you were at all involved to hit the gop trifecta, you
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would've made anyone who is frowning on the other side of the aisle absolutely ecstatic. but unfortunately if we don't have the trifecta today. i get that we do have is a whack a mole hearing and we will hopefully have something. i think it has been clear from people on the side of the aisle, mr. cartwright and others, i just want to verify that you are not in charge of targeting of tea party or progressive groups that this committee has discussed? >> no, my function -- functional assignments did not include any of that. >> okay, we have seen a lot of e-mails reductive and you are not in charge of redacting amartya? >> no, sir. >> okay. they brought up some financial donations to this. is your job to oversee financial donations? >> no, sir. >> okay. they talked about her travel schedule a number of times. i assume that we will have some of the white house staff coming
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in as well. how about something you are not responsible for. let's go to what is specifically, and you are here for this, which is your supervision within the irs of the portal correct. specifically, it has been nine days into implementation and have there been any problems specifically in your area with the irs portion of the implementation of a portal correct? >> we have successfully taken and turned around all the requests that we have received from the hub. and as far as we can tell, and we are looking on a daily basis, it is operating well. >> are there any areas based on the oversight from your department that you see as potential areas that you are watching very closely and have some issues? >> having to do with the supporting services that we are doing right now? >> correct.
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>> well, we have two kinds of activities that i referred to in general because i know about them in general. one is looking at transactions on a sampling basis to keep reassuring ourselves that they are working as intended. and that on that note not only on the testing phase but not we are also operational. the other thing that we are doing is that there are two parts of safeguard work. one is before the data agreements are proved in the other is once the data flows are operational. we go back out and we to operational reviews of practices and that operational review cycle has started this week. >> okay, just to ask the question again. just because we are examining the role in enforcing obamacare. we don't have problems that you are aware of at this point and were part of the implications of
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a portal correct? >> the irs team is very comfortable that things are operating well. >> that's great to hear. again, we really appreciate your willingness to fill a wide variety of questions and more often than not not relevant. i just have to say one thing, democrats relish the shutdown. actually we are pretty disgusted by the shutdown. the fact that small businesses cannot get sba loans right now, but $80 million went into my community last year. that's pretty disgusting that they can't, you know, grow jobs and grow the economy. the fact that veterans may not get benefits because we are holding our breath right now. and congress is pretty disgusting to me. the fact that headstart hits, including in wisconsin, where the day after i was there visiting, a bullet went through their window and a pretty tough neighborhood. the fact that they won't have funds is pretty disgusting. the fact that so many federal
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employees are for load and are working. i do not relish and i'm pretty disgusted by it. the fact that this country is costing $160 million per day while we are in the closed closedown, that is not something the democrats relish and i want to clear the record that i don't think there's a single person here who say that they relish the shutdown. >> i think the gentleman. >> just to clarify it. my comments about the relishing goes to the leadership in the senate as well as the white house. those who were unwilling and made it clear that they would not negotiate and we have worked together with all of the things you have mentioned. we have set them in a bipartisan fashion over the senate and it is time for us to stand together and asked the senate and the president to show leadership and negotiate to a solution and i would like to see that as well. >> i would like to add to that if i could. the fact that i believe, and i
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serve on the budget committee, for six months we have been asking people since march 23, to sit down and have a conference. twenty minutes to midnight on september 30, finally the idea comes to sit down. i don't know if the finger-pointing goes to the senate leadership or the president. >> i think the gentleman. we now recognize the gentleman from oklahoma. >> thank you, senator for being here. talking through some of the issues of the implementation on the spread was the irs ready to implement the business mandate, the employer mandate, as far as tracking penalties and whether there are covered employees and were they prepared for that? >> because the transition relief mentions that we will be ready to take in information returns from anybody would like to voluntarily try doing that in the transition, the work is the same for us either way.
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>> so right now the irs is fully prepared to be able to do what needs it needs to do anonymously you are taking involuntary information now, or you will in the months ahead? to no. >> i'm sorry? >> but the irs is ready for it either way? the administration made the decision. based upon businesses and insurance companies were not ready to do that? >> that's right, but it would've been 15 months away in any case before anything was being filed. >> okay, because of the forms, this is an expectation that starting in 2015, 2016, what every year that we have, that individual businesses will have to list or report individuals within their company they were offered qualified health plans during the course of the year and what months but they were offered those plans imax. >> if the business is of sufficient size, yes, sir. >> so 50 or more, they are going to have to report starting in
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2015 or 2016, whatever year it may be. every individual that was offered albright health insurance the month that they were offered that? >> every full-time employee per the statute. >> okay, going back to the 2000-dollar penalty, he said the business will know that until the 1040s are in for the individuals. so there is an expectation that the business will report what individuals are there if they covered for health insurance and the 1040 for the individual, those come together and then several months later comes back to the business and you owe an additional amount of penalty because an employee of yours received a subsidy and was not eligible for that. is that correct or not correct? >> we would provide them with the result of that. >> how long do you think that that would take? >> there are a number of different ways that we might do it. we have not settled on exactly how we might do it. but we have heard from the
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business community that would be helpful to none no relatively promptly. >> i would assume not. that is the challenge for a business to plan for the next coming years. if an individual starts receiving a subsidy. and i understand that they go to the insurance companies not the individual. the individual finds of them begins to get the support. but the individual stops paying their portion. how long will it be before the irs is notified that this individual has stopped paying their portion. i got a job and just didn't call the insurance company or they just decided that i don't want to pay this anymore. how long will the payments continue to move to that insurance company? >> the entire process for the setting of those credit payments in the process for what happens when somebody stops to pay for the insurance was out of the fact is a process that goes on
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between hhs and the marketplaces and insurance companies. the irs is not involved enough. the information they perceive is from the marketplaces, which will have the record of what amounts have been paid appropriately, which is based on its. >> is the treasury notified at some point in stopping payments were notified by the irs? >> were not notified by the irs. we are not involved in the events portion. but yes, the information is supposed to flow up and down and i refer you to them in this case. >> okay, we'll asking the question as well. the 2000-dollar fee penalty, tax, whatever you want to call it. if an employee does not provide health care at all, an employer, i mean, if they provide full health care, everything except some of the things in the preventative services list has been identified by hhs. that penalty, if i'm reading this correctly, is $36,500 per employee. since $2000 provide nothing, if they don't provide any one thing
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on the preventative list, but they provide everything else. that is $100 a day. it is $36,500. is that correct or not correct? >> i am not entirely clear on what the second amount is that you are referencing. >> is a 100-dollar per day penalty for not providing everything on preventative services list. and that list is rather long for men and women and children are including the things that have to be provided in the employer provided health care. so there is a lot of question out there from a lot of employers that they miss one of those, or if they choose not to provide one of those. but they don't provide it, at 100% coverage paid for by the employer, they are not fined $2000, they are fined $36,500. one hundred dollars per day. >> i will have to take the question back to the lawyers. >> i would appreciate that because the same question has been asked by multiple employers in my district.


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